General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Human Rights And Technology In The Digital Age – An Interdisciplinary Perspective
Language English
Module lecturer dr Łukasz Szoszkiewicz
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position
Faculty Faculty of Law and Administration
Semester 2023/2024 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 10-HRT-w-Erasm


Module aim (aims)

Digital technologies – such as Artificial Intelligence, biometric recognition systems, or credit scoring systems – are gradually entering our daily lives, without us even noticing them. This course aims at providing students with solid knowledge on the impact of these technologies on the protection of human rights. To this end, this course highlights the importance of an ethical, human-centric, and accessible tech-infused future.

The course is divided into two modules, namely: 1) introduction to data analytics; and 2) international human rights law. The first module allows the students to better understand the concepts of programming, data analytics, and algorithms and gain some basic practical skills in these areas. In this context, the students will be provided with an opportunity to experience first-hand the dilemmas and challenges of designing an application (e.g. through running a code on their own). Within the second module, the students will learn about the existing case-law, regulations, and soft law initiatives related to the intersection of international human rights law and digital technologies. Completion of this module improves skills in analyzing legal texts and case law.

Building on the technical and analytical skills as well as legal knowledge gained throughout the course, the students are required to complete a group project and a test.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Background knowledge of basic concepts of International Human Rights Law and/or International Law. Having strong analytical skills is advisable.


Week 1: Scientific progress, technology and society

Week 2: Digital technologies and their impact on human rights

Week 3: Understanding programming and its implications on law

Week 4: Understanding advancements in data science and its implications on the protection of human rights

Week 5: Understanding implications of datafication on society

Week 6: The role of ethics in regulating data-driven science

Week 7: Legal approaches towards regulating digital technologies (EU, Council of Europe, UN)

Week 8: Political rights in the digital age (case-law: Loomis v. Wisconsin, 2016)

Week 9: Social rights in the digital age (case-law: NJCM et al. v The Dutch State, 2020)

Week 10: Open Space discussion (including the selection of group projects)

Week 11: Discrimination in the digital age

Week 12: Regulating the obligations of digital business platforms

Week 13: Data analytics in human rights litigation

Week 14: Presentation of group projects and discussion

Week 15: Presentation of group projects and discussion

Reading list

  1. Council of Europe/Alan Turing Institute, “Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law: a Primer”, 2021.
  2. M. van Bekkum, F. Zuiderveen Borgesius, Digital Welfare Fraud Detection and the Dutch SyRI Judgment, “European Journal of Social Security”, vol. 23(4), 2021: 323–40.
  3. FRA, “Data quality and artificial intelligence – mitigating bias and error to protect fundamental rights”, 2019.
  4. J. Salganik, Observing Behavior [in:] M. J. Salganik, “Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age”, Princeton University Press, 2019.
  5. A. Raso et al. “Artificial intelligence & human rights: Opportunities & risks”, Berkman Klein Center Research Publication, 2018.
  6. H. Fry, “Hello World”, WW Norton & Co., 2018 [selected chapters: 1) Power; 2) Data; 3) Justice].
  7. Harvard Law Review, State v. Loomis, vol. 130, 2017: 1530-1538.
  8. W. Youyou, M. Kosinski, D. Stillwell, Computers judge personalities better than humans, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, vol. 112 (4), 2015: 1036-1040.
  9. S. Wolfram, What Is ChatGPT Doing … and Why Does It Work?, 14 February 2023.
  10. UNESCO, The risks and challenges of neurotechnologies for human rights, 2023.


  1. Selected videos from the Alan Turing Institute, Turing Lectures Series.
  2. Selected videos from the SICSS Learning Materials, 2020-2022.